Crews Mistakenly Bulldoze Restoration Project

Crews Mistakenly Bulldoze Restoration Project

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John Daley reporting In South Jordan, a major restoration project has suffered a major setback courtesy of a team of bulldozers and some bad communication.

An effort to restore an area near the Jordan River to its natural state was starting to take shape, until last weekend. Now, deep tire tracks run right through the middle of it.

Its a natural jewel in a city where sprawl is on the march. It's the flood plain of the Jordan River...300 acres of open space, protected in the Jordan River Natural Conservation Corridor by a coalition of federal, state, local and community agencies, including the group TreeUtah.

So imagine the surprise of restoration coordinator Vaughn Lovejoy when he heard a path had been bulldozed right through re-planted willows, currents, hawthornes and cottonwoods, that provide vital bird habitat for nearly 100 species.

Vaughn Lovejoy, Ecological Restoration Coordinator, TreeUtah: "If we don't not only set this aside, but restore it, we're going to lose it. Our grandchildren will never be able to hear in the valley again the song of the yellow warbler or warbling verioles or western tanangers or a host of other species."

It only took a constuction crew and a few bulldozers a few hours to plow through this path. But it had taken hundreds of volunteers hundreds of hours to plant hundreds of trees over seven years.

Don Bruey/ Director of Operations, Public Services Dept.: "We miscommunicated. We thought we were talking to the right group."

South Jordan owns the land. It was putting in a new culinary water line for a new development. The city got approval, but from the wrong person, not the correct official with Utah's mitigation commission.

Don Bruey/ Director of Operations, Public Services Dept.: "This is probably the greenest thinking city I've seen on the Wasatch Front and we have every plan to go back and mitigate any damage that has been done. That's always been part of the plan."

He says that will cost $5-thousand. The question now is how long it'll take for the restored restoration to revive.

"This is seven years of growth that has just been ripped up."

The city says work on the water pipe will take a couple of weeks, then they say they will begin to fully restore the area again.

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